Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who Was Marguerite Oswald?

Marguerite Oswald, Christmas, 1947

(Update from an earlier article.)

As I stated in my four-part series, Lee Oswald Was A Weird Dude, I have some issues with Lee Oswald doppelganger theory.  You start out with the general strangeness of the concept followed by other mysteries that can never be fully resolved.  Such as, what happens to the other Oswald after the assassination?  Is he killed by the conspirators?  Does he get his face rearranged and sent on other covert missions?  Is he set up in a witness protection program?  If he is being impersonated it starts out as a teenager, at the age of 14 (various sources, mainly multiple educational records and witness interaction).  That would mean there needs two mothers being impersonated as well.  And they have to resemble each other.  So now you have in play two moms and two sons.  As Hunter S. Thomson once said, “When the going gets weird the weird turn pro.”  No doubt this is the case here.  If Oswald-as-double is wacky, give them each a mother and off we go into the outer fringe sustainability.  

The Records and the Witnesses 
The witness testimony forms two different, though consistent portraits of Marguerite Oswald.  One group has her a tall, attractive woman with a pleasing personality.  The other group describes her as short, overweight, poorly dressed, with a throughly unpleasant personality.  Many people having known Marguerite just a few years before the assassination were surprised with her looks after her picture was splashed through the press.  When one witness who knew the short, heavy Marguerite is shown a picture of the tall, thin, attractive one they often can’t recognize the Marguerite they knew.  Just note of the pictures above (online only).  The Marguerite from 1945 is tall, slim and trim.  The Marguerite from 1963 is short and heavy-set.

Marguerite Oswald lived a nickel to dime existence for most of her life.  Of her three marriages, two ended in divorce and one by death (Lee and Robert’s dad).  Most of her jobs were in retail sales or home nursing.  She apparently did a lot of “off the books” employment.  She never stayed at an employer for very long.  Despite a life teetering near poverty she never had a problem buying a house and bought and sold many.  The questioning of finances is one issue but the things she does with the houses are another.  In her brief time living with Lee in New York she worked menial jobs while at the same time owning a house in Ft. Worth, Texas.  She apparently did not consider renting it out and using those funds to finance living in New York.  She eventually sold it to a neighbor after inquiring if the house was for sale.  In 1950 when she wrote her son from her first marriage, John Pic, telling him she was two months behind in rent when she had bought a house in 1948.  Why rent another place when she owned a house?  Or for that matter, have the income to do such a thing?

Also of interest is Marguerite Oswald’s employment at the Dolly Shoe Company in the spring of 1955.  She was known for being unfriendly, a constant complainer, and never smiled.  This was the short, heavy woman the world would meet after the assassination.  She talked her boss into hiring Lee as well.  Being the cashier, eventually her boss required her to be bonded.  He handed her the forms to fill out, which she never did.  Nor would she give a straight answer as to why not.  Eventually she was fired.  Of course, filling out the forms would leave a paper trail.  It would also require Marguerite to give background information and references on herself, revealing things she might not want known.  Would a bond application create a conflict with another Marguerite/Margaret?

In 1960, two women that were good friends with Marguerite Oswald, Mrs. Logan Magruder and Mrs. Oris Duane both reporting meeting her in New Orleans.  (This was the tall, attractive version.) Both women spoke to her at the time.  Mrs. Magruder saw and chatted with her while working in Kreiger’s Department store and Mrs. Duane saw and spoke to her in Goldring’s Department store selling dresses.  A conflict arrises here as the Warren Commission states that Marguerite was supposed to have moved out of New Orleans in June of 1956 to Ft. Worth, Texas never to return.  In September of 1960 she moved to Boyd Texas, north of Ft. Worth and opened a small variety shop on Main street and opened a bank account at the Continental State Bank. Yet, here are two women who had been friends with Marguerite since the 1940’s who say they saw and spoke to her where she should not have been.  Apparently the FBI never investigated this lead in Louisiana.

Peculiarities Abound
Marguerite Oswald, in every interview either with government authorities to newspaper reporters often gave conflicting testimony about her life and related events. When interviewed by a New York probation officer in relation to Lee being truant, she gave conflicting accounts of her life.  She got at least five things wrong, from the number years she had been married (a total of 13 years from three marriages but she said 9) to getting Lee’s birth date wrong.  What mother does not know her own child’s birthday?  At the age of 44 it seemed as if she did not know her own life story on many different levels.  Perhaps that is because this “Marguerite” was an impostor with too much to remember?

Marguerite’s Warren Commission testimony is likewise filled with contradictions and misstatements that are for the most part, ignored by her questioners.  To read the transcript of her testimony is to see a woman with an annoying character, a babbler, constantly rambling off-point, always in need of being herded back in the right direction.  Once again, she made numerous comments there were false.  At one point she mislead the Commission when she was asked if any FBI agents had spoken to her before the assassination.  She said no.  This was not true.  She was visited in regards to her son’s defection to the USSR once in 1960, and twice in 1961.  An odd thing to lie about as it is so easily proven.  But it didn’t end there.  She for some reason couldn’t remember her married sister surname.  At another instance, she mentioned property the family owned in a city in Texas there never existed.  This could have been the misstatements of an impostor not knowing or remembering pertinent facts.  Otherwise, it’s unknown why she would leave such a false trail or be so mentally befuddled.

By the time she got around to telling the Commission she thought her son Lee was spy, the Commissioners had written her off as a kook.  At this point she had discredited herself in their eyes with her meandering testimony and oddball theories.  As one of the Commission member’s said–we can see how the son turned out with a mother like this.

What Happens Afterward?
One of my main conflicts with the Oswald doppelgänger theory as I stated earlier in their piece, is what happens to the other Oswald after the assassination. Even John Armstrong who wrote the definitive book on the Oswald being a doppelgänger in, Harvey and Lee, doesn’t deal with these troubling issues.  Armstrong has nothing to say in regards to what happens to the other “Marguerite” afterward either, other than she disappears from the scene.  She was reportedly spoken to by long-term friends who spotted her working in department stores in New Orleans.  But by 1956, under the official history she has left never to return.  If this is a CIA run operation it seems inconceivable that they would hire such a batty woman as Marguerite Oswald to be an operative.  On the other hand, her IRS returns are sealed from 1956-1962.  Marked “referred...postponed in full...” for reasons only the government knows we are not allowed to see these records.  Why? Opening those files to public access might explain a lot–or else create more mysteries.  Is this a cover for an operation?   Ironic that while this is concealed from the public, we are allowed to see Jack Ruby’s mother’s dental records.

It is also of note that a John and Minnie Smith have their returns from this same period also sealed and marked, “referred...postponed in full.”  Getting access to this couple’s tax returns might blow open a few lids.  Were John and Minnie Smith aliases for the other Marguerite and Lee? In fact, I find this to be one of the most peculiar and obscure mysteries of the Kennedy assassination and not well investigated.  I only read about it in Armstrong’s Harvey and Lee and no place else in the thirty-odd books I have on the assassination. (And while on the subject of tax returns, Lee Oswald’s returns from the years 1957, 1960, and 1961 have never been released, along with his certificate of birth.)

Margret Emma Keating (1892-1972)
There Is a Second Margret–The First Wife
Robert Oswald’s first wife was Margret Keating (1892-1972).  They were married 13 years and divorced in 1933.  Keating never remarried and lived in the same house she shared earlier with Robert Oswald for many years.  One peculiar thing was the 1956 telephone directory in New Orleans lists her as Margret Oswald, at the correct street address.  This is a name she had not used in 23 years, since the court awarded her maiden name back to her in the 1933 divorce.  Notice the year as well–1956.  The same year Marguerite’s tax returns are withheld.  It could have been a typo but certainly an odd occurrence.

I’ll leave this one out there for the reader to ponder...

If it was some sort of intelligence operation it was done on the fly, make it up as you go along.  For example if I let one Lee Oswald go to the barbershop, I would have him go on the weekends, not during a week day when his employment records indicate he was filling out orders in the school book depository building at the same time.  The same exact thing occurs with his mother, working in department stores in New Orleans when she is supposed to be living and working in Texas.  There is a large witness trail here, far too large to be a fluke, if if this is a fringe topic.

There are still millions of files that are sealed on this case.  Of course, many files have been destroyed but every so often a little known memo surfaces.  So at some future date we may learn more, a lot more of what really went on here.  Whatever the future brings, the doppelgänger issue may be the biggest secret of the Kennedy assassination and why the cover up is so systemic in our government.

Sources:  Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee;  Marrs, Jim, Crossfire; Douglass, James, JFK and the Unspeakable

Warren Commission Transcripts: and

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Barry Ernest Interview on Black Op Radio

Barry Ernest, author of Girl On The Stairs has been interviewed by Len Osanic on Black Op Radio.  This the story of Ernest’s 35 year search for Victoria Adams, a key witness in the timeline of Oswald’s departure after the assassination of JFK.  It’s a fascinating read and a good addition to assassination research literature.  

Listen HERE

Show #635
Original airdate: June 20, 2013

Amazon, Girl On The Stairs

Monday, June 10, 2013

Book Review: Destiny Betrayed - JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case

Vincent Bugliosi in his End Notes for his book, Reclaiming History, calls Jim DiEugenio “a sincere conspiracy theorist.”  When reading DiEugenio’s second edition of his book, Destiny Betrayed, one is struck with just how little theory is involved.  It’s all a solid mix of history, fact, and proper historical context for the events that are to follow.  Jim DiEugenio said in a recent interview on Black Op Radio that he didn’t want to caught up in the minutia of details regarding the assassination in this new volume, but instead wanted to pursue an examination of how and why it happened and how it got covered up.  And that is what readers  will experience as they read this book.  

Destiny Betrayed begins in the Cold War shadow wars, a mix of skullduggery and dirty deeds where even the President is kept in the dark in regards to what is going on.  As DiEugenio shows, CIA Director Allen Dulles was attempting to dupe Kennedy into foreign policy and military actions he was not wanting to be a part of.  Dulles took the Central Intelligence Agency far from its original intent of intelligence gathering to a machiavellian, duplicitous outfit overthrowing democratically elected governments under the guise of combating communism, replacing them with controllable right-wing dictatorships, and for the most part, setting the stage for the profiteering of American corporations.  So manipulating Presidents for CIA objectives has become the modus operandi of the Agency that lasts to this day.  Meanwhile, the American public sleeps through these affairs being distracted with the communistic threat, the baby boom, pop culture, sports and so on.  The National Security State descends and much of American history becomes a secret locked away in warehouses.

As DiEugenio’s documents in the first part of his book, the leaders of the National Security State knew early on they had a problem with John Kennedy.  He wasn’t for war mongering, turning down attempts to pump troops into Vietnam and launch preemptive nuclear strikes.  Kennedy was not a believer in the Domino Theory.  The Bay of Pigs fiasco, well detailed in Destiny Betrayed, is a CIA run military op destined to fail so American troops could be called in it finish the job. Kennedy found out none of this till he ordered an inquiry into what happened and  the ever duplicitous Allen Dulles and other top CIA officials lost their jobs. 

The Pioneers Get All The Arrows
The star of the book is Jim Garrison.  His coming around from true believer in the Warren Report to a believer in conspiracy and pursuing a trial against an alleged conspirator is an compelling story.  He was flawed man, but a brave man who paid a terrible price for seeking the truth with his future career in politics destroyed.  The full weight of the federal government fell on his head like a ton of bricks.  His reputation was pillared by a hostile press, some of whom were government informants, who were to attack and expose his every move in the national media.  Kennedy bagman Walt Sheridan (former ONI, FBI, and NSA) was sent down to harass witnesses and later put together a slanderous, over the top attack on Garrison on NBC (which was so bad they had to let Garrison have an on-air rebuttal). And the attacks on his character raged from 1967 to this very day. (For example, Gerald Posner in his 1993 book named Garrison a child molester and Vince Bugliosi in his 2007 book labeled him, “symptomatically psychotic.”)  After the trial of Clay Shaw was over, and lost, Garrison was indicted twice and acquitted.  As you can see, charging headlong into the Status Quo is not for the faint of heart.

As Jim DiEugenio points out, in actuality, Jim Garrison’s attempt to prove conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination was flawed before it started.  Even his staff advised against it after lead witness David Ferrie died.  But Big Jim decided to press on. It didn’t help his cause much by trusting people that he should have left alone.  Men such as Bernardo Detorres, William Gurvich, and Gordon Novel. These men were not rubes–they were all experienced operatives and functioned as spies embedded within his investigative operatus, funneling information to Garrison’s chief tormentor, Walter Sheridan, and journalist/government shills such as Hugh Aynesworth and James Phelan.  DiEugenio documents in great detail how the FBI and CIA were formally engaged to see this Louisiana state trial of Clay Shaw fail.  

And this of course raises the biggest question of them all–if the Warren Report is correct and Lee Oswald is the only assassin, and there is no conspiracy, then why does the government, along with allies in the press, have to take these extreme measures to make sure a conspiracy verdict is not reached in a state trial?  The Justice Department sent down their lawyers to coach witnesses in how to answer questions at taxpayer expense, bug the District Attorney’s phones and transcribe everything said, plague his operation with informants, and have the DOJ successfully killed off subpoenas to top officials. It was a Federal government takedown from top to bottom.  If Garrison is wrong then why not let him fall on his own sword if their account of the President’s death is true?  What would they have to fear?

Plenty apparently.  It appears they overplayed their hand.

The Shaw Trial
Destiny Betrayed does a good job in describing the intricacies of the trial, the legal wrangling, and what Garrison could of done in hindsight.  Important witnesses either died or faded away; other witnesses were assaulted or intimidated into changing their stories by the Sheridan Machine.  Lots of witnesses were never called such as the 16 people Garrison had in regards to Clay Shaw’s Bertrand alias (something that he was never allowed to prove in court). 

While too intricate to go into here, there were some highlights.  One important incident was when autopsy physician Dr. Pierre Fink admitted that he, and the other two other physicians present at the Kennedy’s autopsy, were under control of another military authority, whose name he couldn’t remember.  Another was a screening of the Zapruder film that Garrison had to wrestle from Time-Life.  A film up to that point few had seen, and it was a shock for all witnesses present in the courtroom.  Too bad it took till 1975 before the general public got to see it on Geraldo Rivera’s TV show.  

The End
Jim DiEugenio paints a vibrant world of 1960's New Orleans, a place of clandestine activity, informants, intelligence operatives, down and outers, sexual adventurers, conspirators, Cubans, hookers, misfits, and suspicious entanglements.  It's quite a contrast to the worlds envisioned by the Warren Report defenders where everything suspicious is an illusion, where every contrary witness is wrong, and everything is conveniently explained.  Their selective harvesting of the details strips the soul out of how fascinating all of this is and how a conspiracy to murder a President could really take shape.  

Destiny Betrayed is fascinating work, well paced, expertly organized, and properly sourced.  New document releases from the ARRB and other sources bolster the narrative and explain who is telling the truth and who is not.  It’s the definitive book on Jim Garrison and how tantalizingly close he came to blowing the case wide open.

Available now in bookstores and online at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and in ebook format for the Kindle and iPad. 

ISBN-13: 9781620870563
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date: 11/15/2012
Edition description: Second Edition
Edition number: 2
Pages: 496

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gerald McKnight interview up at Black Op Radio

Gerald McKnight, author of Breach of Trust, has been interviewed by Len Osanic at Black Op Radio.  Breach of Trust of probably the best book on the machinations and back room dealings of the Warren Commission in their investigation of the death of President Kennedy.  A highly recommended book.

Listen online or download the MP3 at Black Op Radio. Real Media plug-in needed for online listening.

NOTE:  The .mp3 is over 200 megs in size.  Keep this in mind if you have a slow connection or monthly data bandwidth limits.  

Show #632
Original airdate: May 30, 2013
Guests: Gerald McKnight
Topics: Breach of Trust